Well, as you may have noticed from my complete absence, we’ve been gone! The kids and I just returned from what was supposed to be 8 days in Kansas. Justin stayed here and did that whole work thing. And apparently cleaning thing! He even vacuumed the upstairs!
Our plane left for Kansas at about 4. I was so extremely nervous. I had no idea what to expect from Mitchell or Rosie. I read lots of pointers on what to do to keep them entertained and make the traveling easier, some of which proved true, some of which…not so much.
Know what WASN’T one of the pointers? Talking to your kids about their daddy staying in Ohio while they go to Kansas with you. I accidentally dropped that on Mitchell right outside security. Yeah…he all of a sudden got a whole lot less enthusiastic about going on an airplane. But luckily that didn’t last long.
I tried to travel light: a backpack for me, a backpack for Mitchell, wheeled carry-on luggage, and Mitchell’s car seat strapped to the carry-on. We borrowed Colton’s car seat for Rosie. Can you tell just how nervous I am in that picture? Hopefully not. I was trying to fake it for the kids. But holy crap was I nervous.
Turns out I didn’t need to be. We went through the TSA pre-check lane, so the only thing I had to do was unstrap Mitchell’s car seat from the carry-on. Other than that, we all just walked right through, easy peasy. We paused to fill up a water bottle for Mitchell (thanks, internet pointers!) and made it to our gate with plenty of time to spare. Thanks to story time earlier that day, Mitchell pointed out all the trucks putting gas in the airplanes and all the other passengers gawked at how adorable these two were.
When we got on the plane, I started getting ready to nurse Rosie as we took off. I’d read that it would help with the ear popping. Mitchell got tootsie rolls. Something I hadn’t planned on: having to take the ring sling completely off. I thought I’d just have to loosen it so she wasn’t strapped to me. But no, it had to come completely off. Which meant I had no cover. I apologized profusely to the woman across the aisle, but she assured me it wasn’t an issue, she’d been there. I noticed she looked a little nervous for the flight, though, and I’m pretty sure by the end of the flight she was wishing she hadn’t sat next to us. We taxied out to the runway and had to sit there for probably ten or fifteen minutes waiting our turn. The whole time we were waiting, Mitchell asked non-stop “Airplane has gas? Gas in airplane? GAS?!” I watched the lady’s hands slowly turn white from clenching the arm rest so hard. Once we started taking off, Mitchell kept asking, “Airplane go high? High in sky? Airplane so high!” And almost immediately afterward, “Airplane go back down!” Nope, not yet, child. “GO BACK DOWN!” No. Not yet. But, eventually, he pulled out his own airplane and started playing. Rosie entertained herself by chewing.
Our connecting flight was in Chicago, and we had an hour and fifteen minutes layover and only had to go one concourse over, so I figured we were golden. Yeah…wrong. It turns out a toddler only has one speed, regardless of those awesome “escalators”. I grabbed some chicken nuggets for him at McDonald’s (his first time there!), didn’t even stay to eat them, and only arrived at our gate with five minutes to spare.
Rosie was awake for the entire plane ride to Chicago, so for the trek across the airport she slept. And then woke up in time for our flight. Convenient.
So, for our next flight, I followed one of those internet pointers and snagged seats at the back of the plane so fewer people would see me nurse Rosie. This turned out to be the worst piece of advice I received. Because, while I was at the back of the plane, well out of the way of everyone else, I was also right next to the bathroom, so as soon as the seat belt light went off, a line formed. Right. Next. To. Me. The flight attendant, who had just told me all the reasons she hated her job and not to nurse Rosie because of all the perverts and creeps, shooed as many people toward the first class bathroom as possible, but one guy pointedly wouldn’t go. But I really couldn’t be bothered to care. Rosie was hungry, I covered as well as I could, and there was really not a lot I could do about it, so why waste time worrying about it?
The second flight went well too. Each child had about five minutes of fussy, which of course coincided, so the guy in front of Mitchell got kicked for a few minutes while I calmed Rosie down, then we read books and everything went swimmingly again.
As soon as we landed, it was diaper change time since we hadn’t had time in Chicago. Then we found Grandpa and got the heck on the road! Since the flights went so darn well, our bad luck caught up with us as soon as Grandpa started his car and the air conditioning blew. Literally, blew. So, no air conditioning for the trip home. Both kids fell asleep within a few miles, but Rosie woke up after half an hour and screamed the rest of the way home.
We stopped to try to calm her down about halfway, but it didn’t do any good. She showed up to Aunt Brooke’s wearing nothing but a diaper and covered in red splotches from screaming so much. Way to make a good first impression!
The first day, Mitchell and Colton played very nicely together.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last. Mitchell turned into a total turd for the rest of the trip. I have no idea what happened. A couple weeks ago, if someone had told me Mitchell pushed their child, I would have said they were mistaken. But no. Mitchell pushed him. Plenty of times. Meh.
Both of my kids hate naps. Hate. But the entire time we were in Kansas, there were no fights, and every nap time looked like this:
Thursday we all went to Topeka to see Justin’s family. Mitchell got to play with his daddy’s old Legos, which he loved way more than the approximately 547 Mega Blocks he’s accumulated here at home. Everyone oohed and aahed over Rosie, because, you know, she’s adorable.
Friday was a low-key day, but we did visit the park with Aunt Kaylee and Aunt Teri. Mitchell met AUNT TIGGY JEEP, and for the entire rest of the trip he shouted “Aunt Tiggy Jeep!” every time he saw a Jeep. Once, in Dairy Queen, a woman looked sufficiently like Teri that he almost cried when he saw her get out of a Jeep and walk into the DQ. He also became obsessed with Aunt Brooke’s car. He liked it a lot better than my car and got so excited whenever it was time to put his shoes on and would start yelling, “Aunt Brooke’s car?”
Saturday was Colton’s birthday party. Thank goodness, this was one day that Mitchell decided to behave himself. Other than displaying his new love of throwing rocks in any body of water he could find (thanks, Grandpa). He kept sneaking off to a giant puddle off to the side of the house to throw rocks and sticks in it.
Saturday night, we went to Manhattan for a friend’s birthday party. Mitchell stole his daughter’s little Cozy Coupe car as soon as we got there and proceeded drive it off their deck, over and over again. It was only about a foot drop off the edge, but it kept rolling partly onto its top. You’d think that’d scare a kid, right? But no. At least, not enough to make him stop. He also managed eight or nine wedges of watermelon through a combination of asking for more from different people and just crawling up onto the pub height table and getting them for himself. Then he convinced another friend’s daughter to push him in the car, and every time they turned, they flipped the car. The first time, he allowed me to pull him out. Every subsequent time, he waved me away. Showing off for the women already.
Sunday, we all met at the church so everyone could meet Rosie. It was so great seeing everyone! Rosie slept through most of it, and Mitchell locked himself in the play room and got very angry at all the pictures, but still. A fun time was had by all.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty low-key also. We went and played with Jamie and Jameson, and ate at the bar several times.
Mitchell was exhausted at this point. I found himself laying in bed at one point, then he moved to the living room. To lay under the rug.
Finally, Wednesday had arrived. We were all sad to leave Kansas, but definitely excited to see Justin. Poor Mitchell had been asking to go home and see Daddy. I wasn’t nervous at all about the flight, because the first had gone so well. The only thing I was nervous about was the lateness of the house.
Great-Grandma came to say goodbye, which was rough.
While packing, I had made a stack of all the ziploc bags their clothes had been in (super organization – each outfit was in a labeled ziploc bag…until TSA got hold of them). Mitchell kept slipping on them, and then finally said to hell with it and I caught him throwing them all away.
Of course, the last two hours we were at Aunt Brooke’s, Mitchell and Colton decided they liked each other and played ridiculously well together. They were playing with ball pit balls in a big tub, and every time Mitchell would bend over into it, Colton would try to depants him. He even succeeded a couple times! I was almost laughing too hard to get a picture.
Finally, we were ready for our great escape. Which is a whole other story in itself.